The hell of it was, they'd had a plan. Lure the Kanima to the alleyway, have the werewolves surround him, corner him, and then exhaust him and record his transformation. It might not have been the best plan to have ever been hatched, but at least it was something. At least they were trying, instead of sitting around, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for Mr. Argent to kill Jackson.
Stiles had "borrowed" the video camera from the police station — his dad may not officially work there anymore but it was still pretty easy for Stiles to sneak in, he practically had the place memorized — and he was to stay out of the way, let Derek and Scott and everyone deal with the Kanima, and just record the transformation. Simple plan.
So of course everything had to go to shit. They couldn't get a break, just this once. Nope. As Stiles kept the camera pointed on the action, eyes glued to the screen, the Kanima made a pretty fantastic leap upwards out of the way of Erica's grasp, claws digging into the side of the building as it climbed over Isaac and Boyd, dropping down on the other side of them and taking off.
As it steadily grew larger on the viewfinder, Stiles' eyes widened. "Oh shit," he muttered, looking up just in time for the Kanima to slam into him. Landing on his back, Stiles gasped fruitless for air as the Kanima rested one heavy hand on his chest, arching over him and and snarling. It darted forward and sank its fangs into his shoulder, and Stiles screamed, high pitched and helpless as he was ripped open, muscles tearing and blood spurting as the Kanima shook its head like a dog playing with a chew toy.
Suddenly it was gone and werewolves were surrounding him in a protective huddle. Scott was the only one looking at him; the other were looking somewhere else, near identical snarls on their faces as they watched Derek drive the Kanima back. Scott's eyes were wide, swimming in tears. "Don't worry, man. I'm fine," Stiles said, but instead of his arm reaching up to pat Scott manfully on the shoulder, it just kind of. Flopped uselessly on the ground. And that was when Stiles' realized he couldn't feel anything except the gaping hole in his shoulder. "Okay," he said, taking quick, shallow breaths. "Okay, maybe I'm not that okay. Maybe I—I need to get to a hospital." A thought struck him and his eyes suddenly felt as wet as Scott's looked. "Oh shit, Scott, Scott, am I going to turn? I—I'm going to be a big lizard or something, oh my god—"
Isaac appeared in his view, still wolfed out. His eyes were round as he stared down at Stiles and his mouth was soft, the fangs still showing but not bared. He looked panicked and scared and Stiles felt a little sorry for him and how messed up was that? He was the one who was probably bleeding out on the pavement. "Come on, just, just help me up—" But instead of helping, Isaac fell on him, face buried against his battered, bloodied shoulder.
"Oh fuck, don't eat me!" Stiles shrieked, pushing frantically against Isaac. Isaac whined and grappled back, locking his arms around Stiles' shoulders. "Scott, Scott hel—" Isaac was ripped away and Scott was roaring, wolfed out and enraged. Isaac was on his feet immediately, snarling. Erica and Boyd joined him, crouching low, eyes glowing as they crept closer.
Great. They were fighting and he was going to bleed to death. Just perfect. Stiles winced and slammed his hand weakly against the ground. "Guys, come on. I'm seriously feeling w—woozy here."
Derek was there suddenly, lifting Stiles up in his arms. "What the fuck are you idiots doing?" he snarled, only the red of his eyes betraying his wolfiness. "Scott, get his jeep. We need to get to that vet of yours." As Scott disappeared, Derek looked down at Stiles, eyes narrowed, eyebrows furrowed low.
"Don't go to sleep," he ordered.
"Right," Stiles said, blinking rapidly. "I don't....I don't think I have much choice in the matter."
Derek's eyes widened minutely. "Stiles, don't close your eyes."
Stiles grinned and reached up, hand limp as he patted Derek's face. "Ha, wow. Careful. I might think you care." His eyes slid shut and his head fell back, neck arching as he lost consciousness.
Pain radiating from his shoulder woke Stiles and he cringed, reaching up to touch crisp white bandages tentatively. Well. He wasn't dead.
"Hello, Stiles," Dr. Deaton said, his voice soft. "I'm sure you're in quite a bit of pain at the moment but I don't want to give you any more medicine for at least another half hour. But aside from the pain, how are you feeling? Any dizziness?"
"Nope. I'm fine. Aside from the pain," he said, shrugging and immediately wincing.
"Yes, that's probably an action you're going to want to stay away from for a while," Dr. Deaton said, a smile quirking his lips. "Try not to move. We've already called your father and told him you're spending the night at Scott's but you need to stay here so I can monitor you."
"Right. Sure thing, boss," Stiles said, saluting him. "Is Scott here?"
"Of course. You don't really believe he would leave you, do you?" Dr. Deaton got up and went to the door. "I'll tell them you're awake." As he closed the door behind himself, Stiles groaned, reaching up with his good arm and rubbing his face. His life. His life. He can't even go to a hospital like a normal person! No, he had to go to a magical veterinarian!
"Hey," Scott said, appearing at his bedside. "How're you feeling?"
"Peachy," he said and frowned. "Did Jackson—"
"Yeah, he took off and on one was willing to go after him." Scott shrugged. "We'll figure something else out, don't worry about it."
Stiles nodded, sucking in air through his teeth and sighing. "Wait, what did you mean, no one was—" But before he could finish the sentence, the door opened and the rest of the wolves tumbled in. Well, Erica and Isaac tumbled in. Boyd and Derek strode in behind them, the very picture of calm badassitude.
Sitting farther up on the pillows, Stiles eyed Isaac. "Okay, so. You're not going to try to chow down on me or anything, right? This is a no eating Stiles zone."
Isaac somehow managed to look mournful and smirky at the same time and that. Was just a skill Stiles kind of wanted to learn. "I wasn't trying to eat you," he said, rolling his eyes. "I was just...worried."
"Uh huh. Your idea of worried is jamming your fangs into my bleeding, 'inside on the outside' shoulder? Seriously, you're doing it wrong. Take some classes."
"If my fangs had been in you, you wouldn't be here," Isaac said, tilting his head to one side and staring at Stiles meaningfully.
"Dude, really? I'm already in a hospital bed, are you seriously threatening me?" Stiles ignored how Isaac's eyes rounded, how his lips turned downward. "Why are you even here? Why don't you go eviscerate some helpless bunny or some—"
"No!" Isaac said, coming to Stiles' bedside. "No, can I just—I want to stay here tonight. Please?"
"Yes, you can stay," Derek said, coming forward. "We're all staying here tonight."
"I've brought blankets and pillows," Derek continued, ignoring Stiles. "They're in the car. Go get them." Since he didn't give the order to anyone specifically, Boyd, Isaac, and Erica all left the room.
"Derek, wait," Stiles said, hands floundering in the air. "Who invited you? You guys can't—you can't stay here."
Derek turned to him, eyebrows raised. "Why?" he asked, advancing until he stood at beside the bed, staring down at Stiles intently.
Stiles sputtered. "Why? Why, because. Because it's a small room! I'll get claustrophobic."
"You're claustrophobic? Wow, I never knew!"
Somehow it still surprised him how much of an idiot Scott was. "Wow. Thanks for blowing my story out of the water," Stiles said, rolling his eyes.
Derek snorted, looking like he was amused and like said amusement actually pained him. That was pretty amusing to Stiles. "Stop arguing. We're staying here tonight."
Sighing, Stiles fell back on his pillows, sinking down until he was lying more comfortably. "I don't understand why. Jackson's not going to come here, I'm totally safe."
Derek was quiet for a moment before looking away. "Because we care."
Stiles was aware of how wide his eyes were and when he look over, Scott had the same astonished expression. They stared at each other before Scott stood up. "I'm, uh, going to go see what's taking them so long."
"Be right back!"
Oh, that jerk. That jerk. What kind of best friend abandoned someone alone in a room with a werewolf who was having an unmistakable attack of feelings? The very worst kind. It was silent for a few seconds before Stiles just couldn't take it. "So! I guess that plan was a huge failure, huh? Do you think the Argents have any good plans? I know you don't want to team up with them — neither do I, by the way, I'm pretty sure Allison is the only sane one in that group — but we could probably share some notes, see what they're up to with regards to Jackson and everything—" A heavy hand fell on his good shoulder and Stiles jumped, whipping around to stare at Derek. Who was suddenly close. Way too close. 'You are inside my personal bubble' close.
"You came too close tonight." Derek's eyes were fixed on the bandages and when he reached out to touch, Stiles forced himself to keep still. "If he had chosen to bite your neck or dig into your chest..."
"But he didn't," Stiles said, making an aborted move to pat Derek's hand, what the hell? "So, you know, don't worry about it. It comes with the territory of trying to help Kanimas."
Derek's eyes met his and Stiles gasped at the rage in them. "Yeah. That's why we're not helping him anymore."
"We...we're not?" Stiles narrowed his eyes. "Is this a lead up to you kicking me off the team. We're not helping him anymore because I'm not a part of this? Because, hey, no way, I'm like the smartest guy here, you guys need me—"
"We're not helping him anymore because I'm going to kill him."
"...oh. Wait, I thought. I thought we decided on no killing," Stiles said. His voice was weirdly breathless and how embarrassing was that?
Derek's lips curled back into a snarl and his fingers dug into the bandaging before he pulled his hand back, shaking the claws away. "That was before."
Okay. Okay. Stiles was at a loss so he stared at Derek. "You....he—"
"I just told you that we care," Derek repeated. "...I care." He stood up quickly, as if needing to get away from Stiles. As if he were afraid of what he would do if he stayed on the bed. "I know you're never going to keep yourself out of trouble so I'm going to eliminate that trouble."
"But that's impossible! This doesn't end with Jackson, there's always going to be trouble! I mean, look at the Argents! And I'm sure there's other hunter clans around! And other creatures that go bump in the night! What are you going to do, kill everyone who roughs me up?"
The answer was so immediate and so final that Stiles could only stare at Derek, stare at his too tense back and his wide shoulders. "Man...you...you're...you're going to have to start with your pack then, because Isaac tried to take a bite out of me earlier."
Derek snorted. "You're an idiot. He wasn't trying to bite you, he was licking your wound."
"Oh. Oh, gross. That's so unhygienic."
"Well next time I won't bother," Isaac said as the pack strode in, carrying armloads of bedding.
"I would actually really appreciate that."
Isaac huffed and glared at him but still threw his blankets and pillow down right next to Stiles' bed.
As everyone got settled in, Derek took the chair in the corner, slouching low in it and crossing his arms across his chest.
"That doesn't look comfortable," Stiles said.
Stiles pointed. "You're sitting there because...it's right beside the window if anyone comes through there and you're nearest the door if anyone comes through there, right?"
"And I have a clear view of you. All of you."
"That....that is so creepy, man, seriously, has anyone told you how creepy you are? Besides me, I mean. And if I'm the only one who ever has, it's just because other people are too afraid to tell you because you are so creepy."
Derek took a deep breath and Stiles was pretty sure he was counting. "Shut up. And go to sleep, Stiles."
Stiles settled down. "Right, right. Good night, sour wolf. Try not to tear out any throats while I'm not looking." Derek didn't bother with a reply and Stiles decided to count that as a win.